“Jaws dropped” in Pennsylvania legal circles when a lawyer filed a brief comparing ACLU demands that an 80-year-old plaque be removed from a courthouse to the Taliban destruction of the Bamyan Buddhas. After all, everyone knows that radical secularism is not an orthodoxy, removal of a plaque that mentions St. Matthew and the Ten Commandments is only vindicating the “sacred” (but non-religious) Constitution, and keeping the plaque for historical reasons would “eviscerate” the First Amendment.
The arguments offered by the ACLU in their reply brief are a good example of what pass for high-minded views in American legal circles, for example:
[I]t is the mandate of the Constitution’s framers that government may not establish religion, thereby ensuring religious liberty, which has largely spared our nation from the scourge of Taliban-like fanaticism.
So much for the state religious establishments the First Amendment originally protected against Federal interference, and so much for the notion of self-government. It is our custodians who keep us from setting up a Taliban-style regime in America. How lucky we are to have them!